Mercedes-Benz Cars will produce the next generation of the C-Class in East London and expands the plant with an investment of 600 Million Euro.
This includes the construction of a new paint shop and a new body shop, an upgrade of the assembly shop and new logistic warehouses. Overall the new buildings comprise an area of approximately 100 000 sqm, this reflects an addition of two thirds of the already existing buildings for the passenger vehicle production. The new workshops will incorporate environmental friendly and state of the art technologies.
“With the investment of 600 Million Euro we are significantly expanding our plant in East London and equipping it for the future. The decision to have the new generation of the C-Class built in East London reaffirms the plant and Mercedes-Benz South Africa. The investment is also a sign of our commitment to South Africa and efforts to revive economic growth as well as the socio-economic development of the East London region,” stated Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, during the visit of President Cyril Ramaphosa to the Mercedes-Benz plant in East London.
Commenting on the investment by Mercedes-Benz Cars, President Cyril Ramaphosa stated, “a central priority for government this year has been to encourage significant new investment in our economy, necessary to realise economic growth, employment and reduce inequality. The announcement by Mercedes-Benz Cars to inject R10 billion into the South African economy signals to the positive momentum we are making to realise the ambitious target of raising R1.2 trillion in new investment. This investment by Mercedes-Benz Cars endorses South Africa as a favourable destination for investment and correspondingly, demonstrates our determination to work with all social partners to seize the opportunities that are opening up for greater investment and faster growth.”
The year 2018 marks the sixtieth anniversary of Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicle production at the East London plant. Over the years, the plant has evolved as a significant contributor to South Africa’s trade balance and an economic multiplier for East London.
The investment of 600 million Euro will be used for a wide expansion of the plant. Many different parts of the plant are affected by the expansion, both Green- and Brownfield. The new body shop is designed for higher capacities and features more than 500 Internet of Things – ready robots laying the foundation for Industry 4.0 readiness. 700 tons of steel will be installed for the addition of three lines in the assembly shop. This expansion will take place in the current building. Utilizing new methods, the new paint shop will be more energy efficient and more environmental friendly. Overall, the energy consumption per produced vehicle will be further reduced with 25% in the East London plant. This is in line with the plant’s initiative for a green production. Other examples include on-site battery storage container, rain water harvesting on rooftops, water storage of 1 Million Litres and the creation of green corridors.